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So. There’s a new study comparing the effectiveness of curcumin to chemo drug 5-FU, on colorectal cancer cells.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric, one of the top 4 anti-cancer spices that I consumed copious amounts of in 2004, and still consume copious amounts of today.

5-FU, perhaps the most ironically named of all chemo drugs (also known as “5 Feet Under”), is used to treat anal, breast, colorectal, esophageal, pancreatic, stomach and skin cancers (especially head and neck). It was patented in 1957 and is still one the most commonly used cancer drugs today. If that doesn’t send up a red flag about the progress of cancer treatment, your flag pole is broken.

Repeat. One of the most commonly used chemo drugs is almost 60 years old.

Communication between cancer cells and normal cells is a key factor in how cancer progresses. This “signaling” increases the survival, proliferation, and malignant behavior of tumor cells and their ability to resist chemotherapy drugs. In this study, researchers investigated the role of signaling between colon cancer cells and normal cells and how chemotherapy drugs and BCM-95 Curcumin affect that communication.

Additionally, the researchers examined the impact of the treatments on cancer stem cell markers. Cancer stem cells are responsible for developing resistance to chemotherapy and the recurrence of cancer after treatment.

The study used a 3D tumor culture, which more closely replicates how tumors act in the body than other conventional in vitro cell culture models. The culture was treated with either 5‑Fluorouracil (5-FU), which is a common chemotherapeutic agent used for colorectal cancer, BCM-95 Curcumin, or a combination of 5-FU and BCM-95 Curcumin.

Surprise! 5-FU makes cancer stem cells more aggressive

One startling finding of this study was that treatment with 5-FU actually promoted the growth of cancer stem cells, which is the most plausible explanation for why colon cancer usually comes back.

According to Ajay Goel, Ph.D., one of the study’s authors,”Colorectal cancer is especially devastating because of its high recurrence rate. Cancer stem cells exist in very small numbers in a tumor and can hide from chemotherapy… They survive (treatment) and cause cancer to reoccur, sometimes years later. I believe cancer stem cells are the main reason why we can’t stop cancer.”

“Our recent studies on curcumin continue to reveal its unique potential as a therapeutic strategy in the fight against cancer,” continued Dr. Goel. “In this study, treatment with curcumin impeded cancer growth and proliferation by inhibiting signaling proteins and blocking tumor cell promotion. The beauty of curcumin is its ability to balance gene expression and positively influence anticancer pathways.”

Translation: Curcumin slows down and/or stops colon cancer growth and spread. It turns on cancer preventing genes and turns off cancer promoting genes. Friends, this is straight from a very influential and well respected cancer researcher. See his bio at the end of the post.

In the following graph from the study, the grey bars represent the number of cancer cells. The black bars represent the number of CD133 cancer stem cells. As you can see, 5-FU reduced the overall number of cancer cells ~5% more than curcumin, however curcumin dramatically reduced the number of CD133 cancer stem cells compared to 5-FU, which actually caused the cancer stem cells to increase, compared to the untreated cancer cells in the two control groups.

Curcumin vs 5-FU

Curcumin-vs-5-FU

Friends, this graph perfectly demonstrates what is happening in the bodies of thousands of cancer patients. Chemo treatments will shrink the size of a tumor by 50% or more, and this is celebrated as a terrific progress. But meanwhile, the cancer stem cells (the real troublemakers) are multiplying. And soon after chemotherapy treatment is finished, more aggressive chemo-resistant tumors form in new parts of the body.

In this study, cancer growth was inhibited most when the curcumin was used as a pretreatment before chemotherapy. The addition of curcumin sensitized the cancer stem cells to chemotherapy treatment and reduced the amount of 5‑FU needed to inhibit cancer cell growth, but as you can see in the graph, the reduction in cancer stem cells by 5-FU with curcumin was only slightly better (a few percentage points more) than curcumin alone.

And remember, 5-FU was also found to make cancer stem cells more aggressive, which means those 5-FU treated cancer stem cells could become a much more serious problem down the road when compared to the Curcumin treated stem cells.

It is important to note that the form of curcumin used in the study, BCM-95 Curcumin, has unique specifications, including high absorption and inclusion of turmeric essential oil, which is not found in standard curcumin.

Therefore, these specific results may not apply to other forms of curcumin.

The author of this study is Ajay Goel, Ph.D., Director of Epigenetics and Cancer Prevention at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX. He has spent more than 20 years researching cancer and has been the lead author or contributor to over 150 scientific articles published in peer reviewed international journals and several book chapters. He is currently researching the prevention of gastrointestinal cancers using integrative and alternative approaches, including botanical products. Two of the primary botanicals he is investigating are curcumin (from turmeric) and boswellia.

Dr. Goel is also a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Gastroenterology Association and is on the international editorial boards of Gastroenterology, Clinical Cancer Research, PLoS One, Digestive Diseases and Sciences andWorld Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology. He also performs peer-reviewing activities for almost 75 scientific journals, as well as serves on various grant funding committees of the National Institutes of Health.

Foods to Boost Prostate Health

Guys, we all know that you put off getting your prostate checked as long as you can, but what about adding some healthy prostate-friendly foods to your diet? Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men worldwide and affects one in six males in the United States. It is believed that the high-fat, high-sugar Western diet may contribute to increased rates of prostate cancer. So while you will have to see a doctor eventually, start by trying these six super foods to help boost your prostate health. No urologist necessary.

Tomatoes

Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, may be beneficial in the prevention of prostate cancer and reducing tumor growth among men with prostate cancer. In a review of 21 studies, researchers found that men who ate a lot of raw tomato and cooked tomato products were less likely to develop prostate cancer compared with men who rarely ate such foods. Because lycopene is tightly bound to cell walls, our bodies have a difficult time extracting it from raw tomatoes. Therefore, cooked or pureed tomato products such as tomato paste, spaghetti sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato juice and ketchup may be better options.

Broccoli

Several studies have demonstrated a lower chance of developing prostate cancer among men who eat large amounts of broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables. In one Canadian study, investigators found that eating greater amounts of such vegetables, particularly broccoli and cauliflower, was associated with a decreased risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Although the reasons as to why are still unclear, some researchers propose that one of the phytochemicals found in these vegetables, called sulforaphane, selectively targets and kills cancer cells while leaving normal prostate cells healthy and unaffected.

Green Tea

Green tea is a large component of the Asian diet and has been consumed for thousands of years. Whether or not green tea is the reason why prostate cancer rates in Asia are so much lower than in America remains unclear. Yet, the components of green tea such as catechin, EGCG and epicatechin are all being studied for their effects on health. There is now some evidence to support that these polyphenolic compounds found in green tea may prevent the development of prostate cancer.

In the Japan Public Health Center study of 49,920 men, researchers found a 48 percent decreased risk of advanced prostate cancer among men who consumed greater than 5 cups of green tea per day.

Legumes and Soybeans

Legumes such as beans, peanuts and lentils all contain biologically active plant compounds known as phytoestrogens. Isoflavones, a phytoestrogen, may contain cancer-fighting properties, which suppress tumor growth in prostate cancer cells.

Two review papers found a 30 percent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer among men with high soy consumption. In a double-blind randomized control trial among men with prostate cancer, those placed on a high soy diet, versus a diet composed mostly of wheat, showed a 12 percent decrease in prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood levels as compared with a 40 percent increase on the wheat diet. Such decreases in PSA signal that the cancer is not progressing.

Pomegranate Juice

Much like red wine or green tea, pomegranate is a rich source of antioxidants and has been touted as a miracle fruit in preventing chronic diseases related to oxidative stress. In a small study of 46 men, investigators found that drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice delayed the rise in PSA levels and increased the “doubling time” from 15 months to 54 months. The goal is to keep the “doubling time” as long as possible, indicating a slower tumor growth and cancer progression. Authors propose that the antioxidants, called ellagitannins, that are abundant in pomegranate, may work by a “seek and destroy” method, exclusively targeting the prostate cancer cells and not the healthy cells.

Fish

Polyunsaturated fats, like omega-3s and omega-6s, are essential fatty acids found exclusively in the diet and not synthesized by the body. The traditional Western diet has lot of omega-6 fatty acids, but minimal omega-3s. Having a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may help prevent the development and progression of prostate cancer. In a study of 6,272 Swedish men followed over 30 years, researchers reported that those men who ate no fish were two to three times more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who consumed large amounts of fish in their diet. To increase your omega-3 intake, try eating fatty fish found in cold waters such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines or trout.

 

The longer someone talks over the phone – in terms of hours and years – the more likely is he/she to develop glioma, a deadly form of BRAIN CANCER, says a new study.

Talking-on-a-cell-phone

Brain tumour rates were three times more among people, who spoke on CELL or CORDLESS PHONES after more than 25 years than those who did not use them, the findings showed.

“The risk is three times higher after 25 years of use. We can see this clearly,” Lennart Hardell, lead researcher and oncologist from University Hospital in Orebro in Sweden was quoted by Daily Mail as saying.

Swedes who talked on CELL PHONES for over 25 years had three times the risk of one type of brain cancer, compared with people who used those phones for under a year.

For the study, Lennart Hardell and his colleague Michael Carlberg matched 1,380 patients with malignant brain tumours to people without such tumours.

They also compared their phone use.

People who reported using cordless or mobile phones for 20 to 25 years had higher risk of being diagnosed with glioma as compared with those who reported using them for less than a year, the study found.

However, no link was found between WIRELESS PHONES and malignant brain tumours besides glioma, pointed out the study.

A World Health Organization (WHO) panel of 31 scientists from 14 countries classified mobile phones as ‘possibly carcinogenic’ in 2011.

The study appeared in the journal Pathophysiology.

-Agencies

A radical cancer therapy – Don’t treat

158401-chemotherapyThe following Op-Ed by Nora Zamichow appeared in the LA Times Oct 24, 2014.

We learned about my husband’s inoperable brain tumor from a nurse who doled out the news as though providing his cholesterol count.

Mark stood frozen. I clutched at him and wailed.

“Are you OK?” the nurse asked.

Was she insane? Which part of this could remotely be described as OK?

Mark worried about how we would tell the kids, three adult children from his first marriage and our 11-year-old daughter.

“We will tell them,” he said thoughtfully, “that we hit a rough patch.” Only Mark could refer to a widespread brain tumor as a “rough patch.”

My husband was a hardcore journalist, relentless in pursuit of a good story, no matter whose sacred cow he skewered. He was also a really smart guy, winning a scholarship to Harvard University from a San Bernardino public school. He began studying chess at age 15 and eventually became a ranked master. After leaving newspapers, he ran his own public relations firm. His greatest fear, he later told me, was that something might happen to his brain.

After diagnosis, we hit the ground running, signing on with a top doctor at UCLA. Quality of life, we told him, was our most important priority. But when he offered hope that Mark might be able to gain another five years of life, we leapt at the chance.

Still reeling from the diagnosis, we readily agreed to the arduous treatment course the specialist suggested: six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation conducted concurrently. This would be followed by five days of chemo every month. At 58, Mark was relatively young and strong, and a doctor told us that 50% of the UCLA patients with his kind of tumor were alive after five years.

We never thought about that other 50%, and when we discussed treatment options, no one proposed the most basic: Do nothing.

But amid the flurry of medical meetings, a friend introduced Mark to a doctor who had also been diagnosed with a brain tumor, though one considered less aggressive. Mark spoke with him. Oddly enough, this fellow had passed up certain treatments. Why, we wondered, would he do that?

Why? Because doctors don’t die like the rest of us.

Physicians often decline treatment in cases of terminal illness, wrote Dr. Ken Murray in “How Doctors Die,” an essay for the Zocalo Public Square website.

“What’s unusual about [doctors],” Murray wrote, “is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little.”

Physicians are much more likely than the general public to sign a living will, specifying what, if any, treatments they want in the event of serious illness, according to a 2003 study.

In a recent Stanford University School of Medicine study of 1,081 doctors, 88% said they would choose a do-not-resuscitate order for themselves. Further, this group agreed they did not want treatment if they had an “incurable and irreversible condition that will result in … death.”

Doctors are more familiar not just with death but with the foibles of trying to flout it.

“Of course, doctors don’t want to die,” wrote Murray. “But they know enough about modern medicine to know its limits.”

In the case of the physician who spoke to my husband, he declined treatments when he found conflicting opinions about their efficacy. “I am not anti-therapy,” he said. “I am for evidence-based therapy.”

What about the rest of us? We depend on doctors to level with us. But do they?

“The overall quality of communication between clinicians and patients with advanced illness is poor, particularly with respect to discussing prognosis,” according to a recently released Institute of Medicine report.

Still, hard truths sometimes come out. As Mark climbed atop the table for his first radiation dose, he turned to the radiologist and asked how long he was likely to live. Without blinking, the radiologist replied: “At best, a year and a half.”

By the end of six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, Mark could no longer walk. Without warning, he would get dizzy and fall to the floor, a phenomenon doctors could not explain. Despite our repeated entreaties about preserving Mark’s quality of life, the doctors advised staying the course.

That meant a series of terrifying episodes. One afternoon, Mark walked into a public restroom and locked the door. As I waited for him, I heard a crash and realized I could not enter the bathroom.

Days after another fall, Mark ended up in the hospital. Under the influence of anti-seizure medication, he had begun to hallucinate. Strange fish dived at him from the ceiling. I had to put myself between him and a hospital nurse he thought was trying to harm him.

After the next round of chemo, Mark again landed in the hospital, where his condition worsened rapidly. He was bedbound and, often, unresponsive. It was hard to know if he knew me. Within weeks, even the doctors recommended hospice.

“It is possible,” the oncologist said, “that treatment made Mark’s tumor grow rather than shrink.”

Mark defied all odds and predictions, regaining strength and lucidity while in hospice care. He began walking again. His oldest son played piano for Mark, and they enjoyed late night movies on a bedside TV. Mark watched Stephen Colbert with our young daughter cuddled next to him. He went fishing with the kids and shot guns at a range with friends.

I read aloud to Mark, poetry and short stories. And finally, one day I read him Murray’s essay. Mark listened carefully, and then he comforted me. “If I had the slightest chance of living longer with treatment, then of course we would have to try.”

But I also realized my husband had no memory of the various stages of his illness. He could not recollect all the falls, hallucinations and hospitalizations.

If I were granted a do-over, would I subject him to treatment, knowing it might turn out as it did? No.

But oncologists, as a doctor friend put it, are peddlers of hope, and non-treatment was never presented as an option.

Only at the end, after we opted out, did it feel like Mark grappled with the cancer on his own terms.

Ten months after his diagnosis, my husband died with me by his side in bed at home.

Nora Zamichow is a Los Angeles journalist and former Times staff writer.
Twitter: @Zamichow

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CLEAN YOUR KIDNEYS

Years pass by and our kidneys are filtering the blood by removing salt, poison and any unwanted substances entering our body. With time, the salt accumulates and this needs to undergo cleaning treatments. How are we going to overcome this?

It is very easy, first take a bunch of parsley or cilantro (coriander leaves) and wash it clean.

Then cut it in small pieces and put it in a pot and pour clean water and boil for ten minutes, let it cool down and then filter it and pour in a clean bottle and keep it inside the refrigerator to cool.

Drink one glass daily and you will notice all salt and other accumulated poison coming out of your kidneys by urination. Also, you will be able to notice a difference that you never felt before.

Parsley (cilantro) is known as a great cleaning treatment for kidneys and it is natural!

How to Prevent Yourself from a Fall, Trip, or Slip

Increased Risk of Fall Accident Begins at Age 40
By: Junji Takano

One of the main health concerns of elderly people is falling, which is often related to poor balance. In fact, many studies show that people begin to have balance problems starting at the age of 40 years.

The older you get, the weaker your physical body and sensory abilities will be, which are all factors in having poor balance.

Falling Accidents

In Japan, more than 7,000 people a year die from falling accidents, which already exceeds the number of traffic accidents.

In this article, we’ll examine in more details the cause of falling and why you lose balance as you age.

## Test Your Balance by Standing on One Leg
You can determine how good your balance is by measuring the length of time that you can stand on one leg.

How to Stand on One Leg

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The following table shows the average balance time by age group in a study conducted at a Japanese health institute.

Average time with eyes open
20-39 years old: 110 seconds
40-49: 64 seconds
50-59: 36 seconds
60-69: 25 seconds

Average time with eyes closed
20-39 years old: 12 seconds
40-49: 7 seconds
50-59: 5 seconds
60-69: less than 3 seconds

If your balance time is below average, then you’ll have higher risk of falls, or slipping and tripping accidents.

In the above study, women tend to lose their balance more than men but only by a small margin (1-2%).

From this study, it is also evident that there’s a sudden significant decrease in the ability to maintain balance among middle-aged people (40 years and above).

Please take note that the numbers stated above are only average. There are people who were able to maintain balance much longer, and there are also those who were only able to maintain their balance at much shorter time regardless of age and gender. The reason why they vary is explained further below.

## The Soles of Your Feet Have Sensors
The skins all throughout your body have significant amount of tiny pressure sensors or mechanoreceptors. Some areas have few pressure sensors, while other areas have thousands, like on the soles of your feet.

Pressure Sensors or Mechanoreceptors on the soles of the feet

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The pressure sensors on the foot soles provide information to your brain to help balance your body.

As you get older, the sensors will get weaker and your foot sole lose sensitivity.

But there are also other factors that can lead to weaker pressure sensors.

## Poor Blood Circulation Can Disrupt the Pressure Sensors
In our study, people are almost twice as likely to be in a fall accident caused by poor blood circulation.

This can be simulated by soaking your feet into ice cold water for about 3 minutes.
Because of the cold temperature, the pressure sensors on the foot sole begin to lose sensitivity.

# Pay Attention to Your Forward-Moving Foot
If your forward-moving foot hit something, your body will be off-balance causing you to fall or trip.
Well, it’s a matter of common sense to always have your eyes on path and watch where you are going.

Remember the old adages – “Prevention is better than cure”,
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”,
“Look before you leap” etc.

But that’s not the only problem.

Here are the other two major reasons why you stumble while walking.

1. Your forward-moving foot is pointed down.
If your foot is pointed down while making a step, then you are more prone to falling.
To avoid this, your forefoot or toes should be flexed upwards as shown on the image below.

Flex Your Toes Upward while Walking

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2. You walk like a pendulum.
The height of your step can greatly increase your risk of falling.

To prevent this, your forward-moving foot must be higher off the ground (at least 5 cm) while the knee is raised high as shown on the image below.

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Proper Height of Foot When Making a Step

Actually, all the mechanoreceptors located throughout your body as well as the soles of your feet are sending information to the brain that include muscle contractions and joint angles. 

When this information is not transmitted well to your brain, which happens as you get older, then the movement will get weak or ineffective making it hard for you to maintain your foot higher off the ground.

## How to Prevent Yourself from a Fall, Trip, or Slip

1. Keep Your House Clean
There are a lot of things in your house that can contribute to clutters that can cause you to trip or fall.
Always make sure to put away or store properly all personal belongings and other unnecessary things even if it is only a newspaper, remote control, and laundries scattered on the floor or carpet.

2. Stretch Your Feet and Ankles

Feet Exercise

Toe Exercise

You might think that your feet do not need exercise or stretching compared to other parts of your body, but in reality, feet stretching exercise can really help your feet maintain balance.

3. Keep Your House Warm and Ensure Adequate Lighting
Cold muscles and pressure sensors work less well and are less responsive to signals.

A decreased temperature will also cause your muscles to have less strength and less flexible, which can lead to accidents.

Always try to keep your house warm or wear proper clothes and footwear, especially during winter or cold weather.

Since most falls occur indoors, make sure your house has adequate lighting.

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About the author:
Junji Takano is a Japanese health researcher involved in investigating the cause of many dreadful diseases. In 1968, he invented PYRO-ENERGEN, the first electrostatic therapy device for electromedicine that effectively eradicates viral diseases, cancer, and diabetes

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